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Apr 4, 2012

how to say "expenses" in Hebrew

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I bet some of you guessed that the Hebrew word for expenses would be some kind of declension of the word for expensive - יָקָר (yah-KAHR).

Sorry to disappoint. Rather, the word for expenses comes from the active-causative הפעיל verb to take out - לְהוֹצִיא (leh-hoh-TSEE): expenses are takings out of money from the bank - הוֹצָאוֹת (hoh-tsah-OHT). To spend money is להוציא כֶּסֶף (leh-hoh-TSEE KEH-sef). One expense is a הוֹצָאָה (hoh-tsah-AH). The root is י.צ.א (y.ts.a), the concept of exiting. להוציא is thus to cause to exit - to take out.

My credit card company advertised its Passover holiday loan program by listing some of the ten plagues brought on the Egyptians... and adding an eleventh, this one on the People of (Modern) Israel: מַכָּת הַהוֹצָאוֹת (mah-KAHT hah-hoh-tsah-OHT) - the plague of expenses.

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